§ EARL SPENCER
rose "To ask the First Commissioner of Works whether he could state to the House what steps had been taken to secure to the House the contemplated memorial to the late Marquess of Salisbury." The noble Earl said: My Lords, I am afraid that the Question in the terms in which it appears on the Paper does not exactly explain what I ought to ask, as it would infer that the memorial is to be in this House. That is not what I intended, because the Motion which I had the honour of seconding was with regard to a public memorial in Westminster Abbey. In putting the Question I would like to add that there has come to my knowledge the fact that there is some little difficulty in regard to a naval memorial to which the naval service attach great importance; and, without wishing in the slightest degree to impede the erection of the memorial to Lord Salisbury, I would like to be assured that this other memorial is not going to be done away with or in any way mutilated, but that proper care will be taken to maintain it.
§ LORD HAWKESBURY
My Lords, I might perhaps be allowed to explain that the monument in question is a memorial to Captain James Cornewall, and that it was the first monument in Westminster Abbey voted by Parliament 1464 to a naval hero. Captain Cornewall lost his life in an action off Toulon in February, 1743 or 1744. Both his legs were shot away, but he fought his ship to the end as long as life remained in his body. Parliament unanimously voted that this monument should be erected to him at the public expense. It has come to my knowledge that the monument is not only to be removed, but mutilated to a certain extent, part of it being taken away to make room for the memorial which Parliament very properly voted for the statesman whose loss we all deplore. I desire to endorse all that has fallen from Lord Spencer in regard to the matter. I hope that it may be possible, while honouring the memory of this great statesman, to preserve the memorial of a gallant sailor.
THE FIRST COMMISSIONER OF WORKS (Lord WINDSOR)
My Lords, I am obliged to the noble Earl for having put this Question, because it is the view of His Majesty's Government that any proposal of this kind should be clearly explained to, and known by, Parliament before it takes shape. Parliament, of course, is concerned to a certain extent with the monuments that have been erected by money given by Parliament; but, as your Lordships know, the question of erecting monuments in Westminster Abbey, and the position in which they are placed, really rests with the Dean. The Abbey is very full of monuments, and it is thought by many persons that there is hardly room for more large monuments. A proposal was made that the monument to the late Lord Salisbury in Westminster Abbey should take the form of a recumbent figure resting on a tomb. The Dean welcomed the proposed, and offered a site in the north arch of the Consistory Court in the south-west corner of the nave. Its position involves an alteration in the position and a curtailment of the Cornewall monument. The Dean proposes to retain the essential features of the monument, and to place it close to the west window of the Consistory Court. That monument is not now in its original condition. So serious was the disfigurement to the architecture of the Abbey, and so great was the inconvenience found to be, that considerable portions of that monument 1465 were cut away by Dean Stanley to reduce its height and to give access to the Consistory Court by opening two small passages to the court, in which are now placed the monuments to Wordsworth, the two Arnolds, and Mr. Fawcett. The Tudor screen, which had been torn down in order to insert the Cornewall monument, will now be replaced in a form to harmonise with the tomb. It is thought that this change will be a great gain, for it will allow more light to reach the other monuments. The Dean has taken steps to find out as far as possible whether any objection would be taken by any of the living representatives of the Cornewall family, and I am able to say that two of them, one representing the family in name, have given their consent to the proposed reconstruction on the ground mainly of its obvious benefit to the architectural appearance of the Abbey. On the other hand, one representative has entered a protest against the curtailment of the monument, though she would not absolutely object to the change in the position. It is not for me to express an opinion with reference to a question of this nature, but I believe that the proposal is a very good one, and that, while improving the Consistory Court, it will duly safeguard the memorial of a heroic naval officer. That is the proposal made by the Dean, and I am glad to make it known so that it will not be said afterwards that a monument had been interfered with, and an alteration made, without the knowledge of Parliament. Perhaps I may also add that it has been decided to ask Mr. Bodley to design the base, and Mr. Goscombe John to undertake the sculpture of the monument.
A considerable portion of the monument as it now exists consists of a reproduction of rock in marble. I believe that the monument was originally surmounted by some architectural palms. These were partly cut away in Dean Stanley's time, but there is a considerable amount of rock structure in marble still remaining, and it is proposed to curtail a part of this. 1466 I cannot actually state in detail what the proposal is, but I suggest that some drawing should be got out in order to enable your Lordships to judge of what is proposed.
§ EARL SPENCER
This is a matter of great delicacy, but as Parliament voted money for the Salisbury monument it has a right to express an opinion upon it. The suggestion of the noble Lord is satisfactory, and I hope a drawing will be submitted in order to aid in the formation of a correct opinion on the subject.